No judgement: Mum chooses mental health over breastfeeding

Kinderling News & Features

One honest mum has opened up about her choice to not breastfeed her new baby, and how she refuses to let bullies and naysayers get her down. And we are 100 percent here for it.

Pregnant mum of two, Jessica Hood, shared the below bump pic with her followers, along with a thoughtful explanation of why she will not be attempting breastfeeding her next baby.

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MY CHOICE NOT TO BREASTFEED Although a slightly controversial topic I think it needs to be spoken about more . For months now I had made the conscious decision not to breast feed my baby when he arrives . Today I finally opened up about it and today a whole lot of women reached out to me and thanked me for having the courage to be straight forward and honest . My decision was based around not only my mental health but also my past experiences with breastfeeding and my struggles . You see the struggle to breastfeed “ for me “ was definitely a trigger for my pnd with lily , something I feel contributed to it. I honestly felt like I was not doing a good job and I just couldn’t get it down pat . It was frustrating . With my last born she had an undiagnosed lip and tongue tie. Despite being checked we were told she was fine but very quickly she became underweight with her feeding struggles. So far I’ve been lucky to not been criticised for my decision but praised . Praised for making a decision and being able to be open about it. What upset me the most was hearing about women who felt bullied for making that choice in the past. Why? It doesn’t make us any less of a mum , it doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong . Whatever works for you and your baby is what works . Your baby is loved , fed , happy and thriving , how is it anyone else’s business whether or not you breast or bottle fed and that was the reason I came out and openly spoke about it. Something has gotta change and women need to support each other during such a fragile time . I entered this journey with my heart and soul and wanting to be 💯 honest with you all and that is what I’m doing . I wanna inpower and inspire . What ever choice you make as a parent whether it’s to breastfeed or not , to homeschool , to have a c section or to co sleep I want us as mother to feel comfortable with our choices and to be able to back ourselves and our decisions and not only that I want women to feel that they can make these choices for THEIR children and not be judge! So yes - I’m not breastfeeding my baby and I am not ashamed one bit ❤

A post shared by Jessica Hood (@houseofhoods_) on

“For months now I had made the conscious decision not to breastfeed my baby when he arrives. Today I finally opened up about it and today a whole lot of women reached out to me and thanked me for having the courage to be straight forward and honest,” began the post.

Take care of mental health

Although we don’t believe any mother needs to justify her parenting choices, we are glad in this instance that Jessica has because it has opened the discussion up around something that IS very important – taking care of our mental health.

Revealing that she has suffered from PND and that much of this was triggered by her previous breastfeeding struggles with two babies, and consequently feelings of failure to do with this, Jessica has made the choice to bottle feed her next little one, and not risk her already fragile mental health.

The mum believes that her past breastfeeding troubles were the main cause of her PND.  

“I honestly felt like I was not doing a good job and I just couldn’t get it down pat,” she says in relation to trying and failing to breastfeed.

While Jessica doesn’t know if she would have the same struggles again, we understand the mum not wanting to revisit something that caused her terrible mental anguish and ongoing mental health issues in the past, just in case it triggers this again for her the third time around.

Jessica has been praised by other mums

The post has been well received, with mums praising Jessica for being so open and talking about the importance of taking care of our mental health. 

“Way to go Mumma! Although breastfeeding can be wonderful fed is best and mental health is most important. People always talk about the needs of the baby and not the mum, if mum is not stable no one is going to be healthy,” said one follower.

The bullying culture

Jessica also talked about the bullying culture that exists within mother circles and again, especially around how we chose to feed our babies.

“What upset me the most was hearing about women who felt bullied for making that choice [bottle feeding] in the past,” she writes.

“Why? It doesn’t make us any less of a mum, it doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong. Whatever works for you and your baby is what works. Your baby is loved, fed, happy and thriving, how is it anyone else’s business whether or not you breast or bottle fed and that was the reason I came out and openly spoke about it. Something has gotta change and women need to support each other during such a fragile time.”

Whatever the best choice is for us

What’s more, Jessica then reminds us all that whatever choice feels right for us and our baby, is the right one.

“Whatever choice you make as a parent whether it’s to breastfeed or not, to homeschool, to have a c-section or to co-sleep I want us as mothers to feel comfortable with our choices and to be able to back ourselves and our decisions and not only that, I want women to feel that they can make these choices for THEIR children and not be judged!” 

Hear, hear.

This post originally appeared on Babyology.